someday ill be in company of all....

Friday, August 31, 2012

The restaurant by Linn B Halton

Title:The restaurant@ the mill
Author: Linn B Halton
Publisher:Saphire publishing
Genre:Contemporary Romance/Woman's fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Source:Review copy

Buy The restaurant @ the mill from amazon 

Six different stories linked by The restaurant @mill owned by Hillary Mark and Ben Adams...As the restaurant thrives the atmosphere is alive with coversation, snapshots of lives unfolding, each one a personal journey...

The restaurant @ Mill is a wonderful tale of people who lives are at the focus @ the Restaurant...The whole plot is engaging, hard to ignore...Initially my take was OMG, with so many chracters around how the plot is going to appeal?? And that is the beauty of the whole novel, there are layers of human characters whose life track converse and come together then move apart carrying their own vantage to go ahead..Human fear of lose ,of being left alone, betrayal are all just not preached but carved neatly by various characters..Hilary is a strong head with a failed marriage with not so good career, from there on she steered her way to a strong career with greater vision finally with Ben to hold on to..Whenever she speakes she makes sense, even through her fear she holds on to her faith in her fellow human.. I completely loved Hilary, be it managing the restaurant, renovating from the Mill , getting burned up in oven ( I am sure I found that amusing apart from Ben)..I loved this particular quote from her...
"Life throws all sorts of things in our path and sometimes it's hard to cope. You survived and that's what counts . Remember that life is short, and you can't afford to have regrets."
 Ben on the other hand is shy and always short for words for expression, initially unsettled later Hilary learn to barge through the silence to understand even when he builds a wall between them, which is later revealed to be largely due to his own insecurities and confusions...I loved the way Halton brought about the renovation of Mill to a wonderful restaurant, every minute detail is seen through, I found myself with Hilary and Ben finishing up the job enjoying the country side, their small get together, local stories and their company....Mya is a charmer though only next to Thomas Quinn..Mya is vivacious and goes the restaurant taking up the orders, making merry .,hiding in her  loss and struggle to solve a complicated relationship with Sam...Grace and Lawrences' love that has been stripped off them by parental pressure that has been finding new dimension after years  highlighting age is not a barrier when it comes to love.. Nick and Charlotte are an unlikely couple who meet and find their little space of togetherness that lasts forever..I also liked the dash of ghost's presence time and again...All characters are believable characters, you might come across everyday , they are not dramatic but very much in sync with life...This book emphasis that life may not pump in happiness all through, yet through every bump.,love and faith can create lots of happiness to fill in  for a life time..Halton has taken care of every aspect., the book opens up in Autumn symbolically representing that fact that ., things are yet to be sorted out ., slowly and steadily every bit is placed together solving a jumbled puzzle...This book would be an absolute treat to anyone who love to read about different human attribute with all shades put in perfectly...

About the author

Linn B Halton lives in the UK, in the small Gloucestershire village of Arlingham, on the banks of the River Severn with her adorable husband and cat with attitude – Mr Tiggs! She writes romantic fiction with a psychic or astrological theme and many of the paranormal events that feature in her books are real life experiences.
 Linn is also a featured new Author on and Editor of the feature ‘Author & Associate Catch-Ups’ including ‘Reader/Author Team Reports’ on the website’s magazine-style blog.

The first time I walked around the flour mill at Huntingbridge in Gloucestershire turned out to be a life-changing moment.  Reminiscent of the first time I met my business partner, Ben Adams.  The initial thought that struck me on both occasions was “Great, not perfect, but I can work with this.” It was enough to clinch the deal for me.You see, I thought I had a “perfect” life once a long time ago. I married Josh, the man of my dreams, only to find out one failed marriage and a broken heart later, that everything can change in an instant.  What you see depends upon where you’re standing when you admire it.  If you’re on the outside looking in on someone else’s life, it’s only natural to form an opinion based on the fa├žade you see.  What I would eventually discovered was that even when you’re on the inside looking out, it’s easy to be fooled into thinking everything is fine. On that fateful day many years ago, what I hadn't appreciated was that what we had was in fact a love triangle, and knowing that would have given me a whole new perspective.  

 I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review.

August wrap up

I had a great month, had fun participating in blog tours..I finished most of the books I wanted to review...Reading is also at great pace..I am having a good monsoon cheers to all..The reading challenges are also great, I finished new authors reading challenge and others too are also looking great..I am only 9 books away @ goodreads reading challenge too..I am on a holiday hence keeping the post short...Will come up with more updates soon..Have a great month ahead...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fatwa Living with a death threat by Jacky Trevane

Title: Fatwa living with a death threat
Author:Jacky Trevane
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: online

Buy Fatwa : Living with death treat from Flipkart
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Jacky was young and so full of life with lot of dreams for her Mr Right, luckily she met Omar her prince charming during a vacation in Egypt, in spite of the language barrier they ended falling for each other..Against her parents advices she went back to Omar , little did she know then that she was stepping on to hell..Now she has to escape from Egypt with her two daughters...With a death threat and only courage to support she sets on flee for her daughter's safety...

The book opens with Jacky trying to escape from Egypt with her two children, T told myself that I shouldn't have given up the habit of reading the end before really starting to read the book itself but somehow I felt that it kills the book if you read the end, and so very rightly for this book, this book runs like a suspense thriller... Jacky is physically abused by her husband, she doesn't want to escape alone leaving back her two daughters, there are other book were I have read about mothers abandoning children for getting a life and here she is acting like a true parent..She expected a life to be a fairy tale with married to handsome Omar she fell in love with and to live happily ever after., but it turned out to me more than a nightmare...This book was in my list for ages..Jacky took a huge risk in plunging into the unknown territory by marrying Omar against her parents advice..She blindly makes up her mind to blend into a culture she has never been part of, she thought that love would conquer horizon and would transcend beyond cultural differences, but her life turned out to be worser than the worst...The fact that the whole episode happened back in early eighties when there were less media access to gain support and help., makes Jacky's tale even more enduring...She faced it all with quite determination, it took all persistence to wait for a year to make that precious $50 funding herself to escape from Egypt through desert to Israel.....Only trouble is that she is haunted till date with the hard tale...This book was an interesting page turner, I just can't say how much I was fascinated by Jacky's toughness to cruise through all....

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

Author: Katie Kacvinsky
Publisher: Graphia books
Pages: 320
Genre: YA/Romance
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Source: online

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Buy awaken from

As the title goes Awaken is a tale of Maddie who is awakend from her digital world to lead a normal life, this is of course made difficult as founder of the digital school is her father..Things go weary when she is attracted to Justin who insists upon the real world with more physical contacts rather living in a virtual world...Now its her father's turn to react to this situation, how Maddie finds a space and lead a life she had desire for becomes the rest of the novel...
Maddie is the protogonist of the novel who is like any other teenager, she re -reads 'The wuthering Heights' over and over.... The novel is set in 2060 and the whole plot is future forward, completely digital...Digital to the darkest core, even dating, movies ,chatting all were through virtual world...It didn't really sound surprising as that is where I guess we are all headed to....The digital world built by Kacvinsky is quite creative and amazing, it all sounds authentic and that's were the author scores..Maddie though reclusive about all this setup, still doesn't complain , she has somehow come in terms with all of these., that is until she meets Justin who is nothing she has ever met...She meets him on school chatroom and is attracted to him for no reason....He suggests Maddie to head on to a real tutor..All this goes against Maddie's father who happends to be the founder of Digital school...I likes Maddie with adrenaline rushing , the teenage syndrome of acting first and thinking about it later just fit into her character well..I liked her loving side as much the rebellious string, on the other hand Justin sounds more like a saint disguised as a teenager so full of message and advice....Ironically I read this book virtually..Okay was I the only one who didn't share the same energy with the end??
The start of the novel was classy
"My mom gave me an old leather-bound journal on my seventeenth birthday.At first the blank pages surprised me, as if the story inside was lost or had slipped out. She explained sometimes the story is suppose to be missing because its waiting to be written..Leave to my mom to give me something from the past to use it in the future:"
This book is an easy read, the pages that flip across easily....This is another book that got me by its cover .

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

In the shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner

Title: In the shadow of the banyan
Author: Vaddey Ratner
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 322
Price: Rs 1463
Genre: Historic fiction
Ratings: 4.5 out of 5
Source: Personal

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Buy In the shadow of the Banyan from

Seven year old Raami's life is torn apart by Khmer Rouge take over..From a priviledge royal family to constant struggle for everyday food and shelter, her life takes a turn about..Her innocence has no time anymore...Through Cambodian famine and everyday struggle to sustain life, Raami's life goes through a whirlpool of events...

This was  one of the books I had high hope on for this year...Born to Neak Ang Mechas , prince of Cambodia Raami is a princess in every way...A royal life with all its luxury awaits her until Khmer Rouge twists the destiny of many lives in her country...Raami just flew from the book and stayed with me for a long time..From a life filled with priviledge and happiness, her life is shattered beyond she can recognise..Infamous Khmer Rouge's tyranny leaves Raami no where to go, nowhere to run..It leaves her family homeless ., her cousins and friends are all torn apart...Living in village working in field  for 'the organization'., she striken by the grief of losing her loved ones, with no food and laborious work to go by....The agricultural reform that was introduced by Rouge's dictatorship forced everyone to work in field which resulted in famine and death in a larger scale..All descriptions are short and crisp giving the reader the apt picture in a comprehensive flow..Still the tyranny doesn't grab all the attention in the book, It is Raami and her life that is marvelously done...She is forced to live in a countryside along many other villagers and her father is sent away for re-education...Like Hitler's concentration camps, 're-education', 'reorganization' also strikes a chord...Raami's innocence has been marvelously portrayed through various incidents, like Raami's inability to understand why all of a sudden her cousins are disappearing, why her loving father is unable to live with her, and for all this she considers herself to be the reason...Genocide has been hauntingly portrayed..The loveliness of Cambodian myths are amazingly written...Love and affection becomes Raami's lifeline, through all these distressing period..The family is kind to everything around even at the face of cruelty....Ratner's language is simple and elegant...The pages just fly as the reading pace sprintes.... This is one of the best books released this year..Its a heart aching tale of girl whose innocence, and childhood is snatched away and she is forced to grow up quickly making adult like decisions.....I would recommend this book to everyone...

Monday, August 27, 2012

Beneath a marble sky by John Shor

Title:Beneath a marble sky
Author: John Shor
Publisher: New American Library
Pages: 344
Price: Rs 819
Genre: Historic-fiction/ romance
Ratings: 4 out of 5
Source: Borrowed

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Buy Beneath a marble sky from Summary:
The Novel is a remniscence of Princess Jehanara, beloved daughter of Emperor Jehangir and Mumtaz..Set during the magnificinet Mughal era , novel is about power, lust..This is also a tale personal between love and duty that Jehanara is forced  to make to safeguard her father from his own son Aurangazeb who is all set to seize the trone from him...Among all these Jehangir's desire of building Taj Mahal stands tall in the loving memory of his wife Mumtaz...

The best part of historic fiction is that , they transcends the reader into a period about which they can only dream about....The characters keep us alive through all of it and enlighten us in an engaging way...I love everything about Taj Mahal, though there has been many infamous anecdotes attached to it, still this grand musoleum is a thing of beauty that has stood the test of time over the years..Beneath a marble sky is through Jehanara's eyes., she is the favourite daughter of Emperor Jehangir who has been striken by the grief of his wife's Mumtaz's death...The tale unfolds from her childhood through various incidents till the completion of Taj Mahal, alongside goes her own struggle of existence as a princess,daughter, wife, lover, mother in a male dominated hypocritical domain ...Everyday there are constant conflicts, brothers trying to seize her father's throne, her marriage that is running into a total disaster , her love striken with Isa the architect of Taj Mahal and so on..Shor has built Jehanara's character with poise, candor she is a woman of essence who endures all the tortures forced upon her by her husband and brothers, yet she cruises through for the welfare of her family and the empire....She has been painted as an epitome of selflessness who is torn between her heart and mind, she is often at the cross roads of duty and love...Yet she does it with style...The beauty of Mughal era is captivatingly put in through the novel, the lavish courtyard, stunning palaces with its intricate architecture, all are painted across the readers mind afresh..I loved everything about Jehanara's childhood, the red fort fantasy was something I treasured on in its splendor and glory...My only let off was that Shor had taken too much of liberty in playing with the charcters and era, though its a fiction it could mislead many, but that could be added as a positive side of Shor who has been able to snapshot into a real picture..The novel takes a dramatic turn, at time with all sweetness of love many a times with ruthless lust for supremacy all in the gone by era of 17th century...

This book makes it a perfect 10 on 10 for the new author challenge

Book 17 for SAC

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saffron dreams by Shaillah Abdullah

Title: Saffron dreams
Author:Shaillah Abdullah
Pages: 248
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Source: Personal
Reading year: 2010

From book cover
From the darkest hour of American history emerges a mesmerizing tale of tender love, a life interrupted, and faith recovered. Arissa Illahi, a Muslim artist and writer, discovers in a single moment that no matter how carefully you map your life, it is life itself that chooses your destiny. After her husband's death in the collapse of the World Trade Center, the discovery of his manuscript marks Arissa's reconnection to life. Her unborn son and the unfinished novel fuse in her mind into one life-defining project that becomes, at once, the struggle for her emotional survival and the redemption of her race. "Saffron Dreams" is a novel about our ever evolving identities and the events and places that shape them. It reminds us that in the midst of tragedy, our dreams can become a lasting legacy. 

My book shelf was craving for my attention , being a weekend I finally decided to give my shelf the time they deserved, I stumbled upon this book ..And here I am sharing my thoughts..Re reading a book also helps me see things that I had earlier ignored...This novel is about a woman whose blissfull married life with all happy days takes an unfortunate turn into a widow and to be single parent  with a special attention child, more to it the world around her seemed to have drifted away , now surrounded by prejudice eyes...All this comes due to 09/11 tragedy..Till then Arissa had a beautiful life a writer and an artist with a loving husband, leading a heavenly married life in America...With the twin tower disaster she loses her husband and now her purdah becomes repugnant..People around her no more understand Muslim faith and practice that makes the essence of her life.. She is pregnant with a baby boy who would be born with multiple disabilities..As she struggles to cope up with all the blows one after another, she stumbles upon her husband's manuscript of a book..That unfinished manuscript renders her strength to move ahead with her unborn as the focal point of her existence..Arissa's emotional journey is in deep contrast with her life in Pakistan, born in a well -to - do family,a loving father with high dreams...Abdullah has a done great job in bringing a beautiful Pakistan alive in my mind..This a refreshing read in comparison with whatever I have been reading off late...Arissa finds emotional support through her in-laws...Arissa's inabilty to brew with the crowd post 9/11 was something that stricked a chord in me, her purdah, her way of life all seemed out of place just because people around had inhibitions towards Muslims ...Abdullah's writing is beautiful and captivating..This novel is an amazing romantic tale...Arissa stress upon the point that love remains even when a person dies and this love extends the strength to face any trouble that might stand tall...This is yet another book that gives a vantage for finding courage at the face of disasters...

Book 15 for SAC (SouthaAsian reading challenge)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Abandoned: A Little Girl desperate for Love, a daddy who tore her childhood apart by Anya Peters

Title: Abandoned
Author: Anya Peters
Publisher: Harper Element
Pages: 352
Price: Rs 639
Genre: Non-fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Personal

Anya is brought up in a family which wasn't hers, calling her aunty as mummy and uncle  as daddy she wasn't blessed the love and care of a family, worst she was physically and mentally abused by her drunken uncle..At eleven when things got into public she cracks that only leaves her homeless and a bleak future..Yet she fights for stability in life and she succeeds with flying colours..

After reading this book I kept telling myself how lucky I was to be surrounded with all love and care of family..Being pampered with the warmth of mom and dad...To read horrible tales of fiction never bothers me for a very long time as I know that may not have happened to real people, but reading a memoir like this is a stressing affair as I have a habbit of immersing myself completely into a book, I get attached to the characters very easily and a book like this gets me into a saddening mode..Glad that I read it completely to make me see the good parts of book..Anya was brought up by her mother's elder sister, she called her 'mummy' and she believed that to be true but her 'daddy' figure was just the wrong person,..He was always drunk abusive and she was physically and mentally tormented at the age of six..All these were a part of family secrets under wrap sealed completely..She endured all this hoping that her mummy would always be there loving her all through...But her uncle started abusing her in front of other children and her supposedly siblings start calling her whore.. At the tender age of eleven she breaks up giving away all her agony into public... Uncle is arrested and taken away, predictably her mummy takes him back...Kathy (her biological mom) and her friend Brendan (who happens to be her father) she is put in a boarding school to get on with a new life..But Anya longs for her mummy, and gets back, her mummy abandons out of guilt and she has none now , with no job, hopeless relationship she has no where to go ending up living in a car...This is the part where my spirit started to sore when Anya decides to fight back , she does odd jobs in hospital, visiting library to get internet access for sending job applications, finally she stumbles upon the world of blogging naming her blog wanderingscribe....It takes ages to admit that she is homeless and put all these things into words yet she finds courage to go ahead..Luckily she finds solace and encouragements through unknown people..Being anonymous adds up her morale to pour in all her troubles...With the help Ian Urbina a journalist of The New york Times , her blog gets international attention...She then slides onto writing a book , Abandoned ..Isn't this an inspirational tale of a girl who faced all the tribulation to end up into a stable life again with hopes..She also hopes that her Mummy and Kathy might also find a place in her life, she also plans to open up herself to Brendan..Inspite of describing all her tormenting childhood she quickly points out that this book is not about cornering anyone but to find courage inspite of odds...
Anya's writing is flawless though bit repetitive as she describes her time living in a car , anyone can call me partial for not complaining about it.....I only wish that people think before taking any hasty decisions especially when it involves a child..

Friday, August 24, 2012

The memory of roses by Blair Mcdowell

Title: The memory of roses
Author: Blair Mcdowell
Publisher: Rebel Ink Press
Pages: 308
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Source: Review copy

Brit McQuaid has had a very bad year.  First, her heart is broken when her relationship with her professor ends because of his lies and infidelity. Then her father dies and leaves her a villa on the Greek Island of Corfu, and a deep mystery to solve; in his last letter to her, he asks Brit to find the woman he profoundly loved on Corfu many years ago, shocking Brit with the realization that her adored father  had cheated on her mother.How could her father have owned a house that Brit knew nothing about? Why was he unfaithful to her mother? Who is this woman named Maria? And what is in the mysterious package?

To find answers, Brit must travel to Corfu, open a villa that has been closed for many years, and locate Maria Calbrese, the great love of her father’s life.

In the course of her voyage of discovery, Brit meets the man she could lose her heart to and begins to understand that, while passion can rule one’s actions, real love can neither be dictated by propriety nor measured by moments of passion. Real love may involve sacrifice, or at least the willingness to give up one’s own hope of happiness for the good of another’s.  Her father knew this truth.

This is a tale of a woman's journey in search of answers that haunts her..Her shock as a daughter when she finds out that her father had an affair with a woman whom he loved deeply, a villa that he owned which she didn't know..To solve all the riddles and to get over her disappointing love life, she decides to travel to Corfu a beautiful island..Her father believed that  Brit would find peace living there...To her pleasant surprise she meets some lovely people, handsome Andreas who is head over heels in love with her...Slowly her life picks up in the villa, but she is still unable to trust men, she keeps Andreas at bay until she realises that love has no boundaries  it tends to reach out beyond horizons..She also finds everything about Maria and her father letting her to settle things...For a brief time Brit is set apart as she discovers that her father had sacrificed his love for the sake of his daughter..The book has many feel good factors, the equation between Andreas and Brit is contagious..The book serves as a great travelogue in terms of Greece, the beauty come across even as I read...The book had a great beginning then somehow ebbed away but then picked up as Brit continues upon her personal discovery on her life ..Brit character is built on well, career oriented, talented woman whose life goes haywire as she loses trust upon men first her boy friend next her father, but slowly comes in terms with everything around her reviving her lost life and finding love in  Andreas..Andreas is a deligtful character he is intelligent, genuine, caring and deeply in love with Brit..Inspite of Brit's hesitance he manages to win her trust and love...The past and present in amazingly woven in the villa first through Brit's father and later through Brit herself..Finally Maria solves all her riddles letting her at peace...The villa becomes lover's paradise with a happy ending tale...

Review copy of this book was provided to be through Bewitching blog tours...

Rooftop of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji

Title: Rooftops of Tehran
Author: Mahbod Seraji
Publisher: Center point Large print
Pages: 477
Price: Rs 499
ISBN: 1602855803
Genre: Historic fiction
Ratings: 4 out of 5
Source: Borrowed

Buy Rooftops of Tehran from
Buy Rooftops of Tehran from

From the book cover
In this poignant, eye-opening and emotionally vivid novel, Mahbod Seraji lays bare the beauty and brutality of the centuries-old Persian culture, while reaffirming the human experiences we all share.

In a middle-class neighborhood of Iran's sprawling capital city, 17-year-old Pasha Shahed spends the summer of 1973 on his rooftop with his best friend Ahmed, joking around one minute and asking burning questions about life the next. He also hides a secret love for his beautiful neighbor Zari, who has been betrothed since birth to another man. But the bliss of Pasha and Zari's stolen time together is shattered when Pasha unwittingly acts as a beacon for the Shah's secret police. The violent consequences awaken him to the reality of living under a powerful despot, and lead Zari to make a shocking choice...

I loved the retreat of rooftop chat between two thick friends and I couldn't wait to complete it..Pasha's and Zari's love is something one can only get to read in books, for now days love stands for  a  different meaning and dimension..This novel  brought  back all the romantic tale that I read as a teenager ...Sitting under a tree hsring a moment of silence, those glances, silly moments with the loved ones flint a smile across my face...Pasha's and Ahamed's conversation are a real delight, this would carry the reader to the good old teenage days filled with friendly chat and humor so full of laughter and life..When their conversation focuses upon Faheemeh and Zari Naderi ( whom Pasha eyes) their naughty glimmer shines in eyes......Pasha's feelings for Zari is put across the reader strongly and one doesn't mind those fantasies even when the news of Zari's engagement floats.. Ahamed manages to get on Fahemeh inspite of the odds while Pasha's keeps his feelings for Zara a secret...I also liked a Pasha's struggle as a son to keep up with his father's expectations, coming in terms with his own ambitions.. He adores his father yet can't relate to his expectations..Shah's tyranny on Iran is put in a different vantage here, rather pointing on the lives of people around the country and their sufferings the whole novel revolves around the beauty of love and care of family and friends... In spite of all the difficult times all the characters try to move their life as normal as possible surrounding themselves with laughter and joy...That doesn't mean life was easy, very possible step is taken to hurdle independent thoughts and life,with spies all around life becomes hard when the people find it difficult to trust anybody around...Life for these friends too take a different journey, reminding themselves to think before acting, losing their carefree days, this was a put off not only for them but also for the reader...Novel is staged during the violent period of Iranian history from 1973 to 1974... Teenage life is given an extra bit of carefree zone, with nothing  much to worry about spending days dreaming high rather running for life after the political strife..To make it memorable there is an evergreen quote from Seraji
" Never take life seriously, you'll never get out of it alive"
There is a stack contrast of life that brings upon tonnes of memories flooding down, reminiscent s of   great days that they were forced to leave behind...Seraji's description about Iranian culture and lifestyle was enlightening..It had a such a feel good aura that I wanted to be in those alleys of Iran , wonderful market and those sunny days over the rooftop sharing a cup of tea talking light heatedly with my gang of friends .. This book is kind of book to cuddle over a weekend..The book is an easy breezy read with its share of tragic twists and turns ., nowadays I can't get on with a story where everything goes well , does that make me a sadist?? well I would say a realist...Just grab and enjoy the read...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Imam's daughter by Hannah Shah

Title: The Imam's Daughter
Author: Hannah Shah
Publisher: Random house group
Pages: 288
Price: Rs 399
Ratings: 5 out of 5

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Buy Imam's daughter from

Hannah is born and brought up in England raised as an orthodox Muslim in a family, her father being an Imam ..The family hold on to extreme religious believes,her life becomes a living hell as her father rapes and abuses her home as all in the family conveniently turn a deaf ear...To save herself from further miseries she escapes from home when she finds out about her father's plan for an arranged marriage in Pakistan..With the help of a friend and a social worker she is left with no option but to fight for herself inorder to survive...

Family is the greatest asset to a person, it comes as a warmth for a mother, affection of a father,togetherness of siblings , and its through a family one perceives the world around..IWorld's shabbiness is given a shade of beauty by family's support and a beautiful shade is further magnified..What if the beginning itself slumbers??? What if the people who were meant to protect turn around ruining life, then your becomes something like Hannah's..Hannah is a Muslim and obviously this name doesn't resemble anything Muslim, original names are not used for the security reasons..Raised as a Muslim Hannah's life is nothing short of a whirlpool , like someone stuck in it she is unable to escape ..Hannah's father is an Imam  who hates British calling them "Gorey" meaning white..She is abused and raped repeatedly by him  and none in the family resist or call for help.. This is done for holding the honor of the family high..Everything is done in the name of family's honor..She points out one dig , that as per Muslim religion no actions are bad or wrong unless one is caught during the act, come on can you believe that?? I thought all religion discourages any such actions...Her neighbors ignore her cry., even her mother turns a blind eye on the bruises that she walks with, her mother is relieved from the fact that she has no longer  to bear the physical assaults..In her desperation Hannah turns to a social worker for help and he in turn turns to her family , all that resulting into further sufferings..Her family sounds like a pack of evil than anything like a family, Her smiles watching a cartoon is retorted with  hard treatment..Her mother tells her that she is not suppose to be happy, reading all this made me wish if they were only an exaggeration... One can not go on with all the horrendous actions of the family, its such a tormenting life to live by..She reaches her breaking  when she happens to know about her arranged marriage to a Pakistani Muslim and her eventual shift from England..She escapes home, this time finding the right person, he not only helps her out but lets her stay at her home..The family drama continues as the Imam comes with other religious people crying for help..Her mother asks her to come back for the sake of  family honour.. Come to think of it, the person who never bothered a string about her daughter had come with something like this...It would have been easy for anyone to collapse falling apart..I am in awe for this woman who faced things head on till she achieved peace..Adapting Christianity she is leading a life away from her parents in the hope to get that someday things would be better..This book would impel you to question many things,its an agonizing tale of a woman that would leave you dazed...

My 14th book to south asian reading challenge

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The birth house by Ami Mckay

Title: The birth house
Author:Ami Mckay
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Price: Rs 877
Genre: Fiction/ woman's writing
ISBN: 0061135879
Ratings:3.5 out of 5
Source: Personal

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Dora belongs to stranger side of life, she considers herself not beautiful, and lives an isolated island,though wise she considers herself not so good, with no friends only brothers for company..She is first daughter born in five generations.. She is drawn to Miss B or Babineu a midwife and a healer becoming Miss B's apprentice, she learns more about childbirth, together they see through a lot of complicated labors..As Dora thinks she has almost had a good life discovering her real talent, everything falls apart when Gilbert Thomas comes up with his  scientific method of treatment..Dora is left alone to hold things  falling apart as everyone  questions the long tradition that she is responsible to hold high..
Protagonist Dora has nothing going her way she is not beautiful nor she has friends often she ends being lonely, moody swayed away as witch, away from the buzz of people..Luckily she finally finds herself drawn to Miss B who is a compassionate midwife, she also maintains an enigmatic journal "The willow book", it is this book that helps her out when she is own her own...I haven't read many books were the protagonist stays passive all through the book, this was a welcome change even though she holds on a fight against prejudice.,  but the same passiveness drove me out of the book many a times..The book goes for a debated topic midwife vs doctor assisted treatments.. Though this is still a point to be debated, in this novel doctor Gilbert Thomas is portrayed more of a fraud than a good obstetrician..Certain plots were emotional, the still childbirth, a friendship that develops between the patient and the midwife... I got irritated with Dora when she puts up with a sad tale of her marriage for the sake of having a child..But I guess that was the main point of Mckay in portraying her character that way.. I expected the book to be an all rounder about childbirth  and thankfully it wasn't, there are multiple layers that forms the story plot... I loved the book in many ways and disliked it with certain things..Childbirth could be scary and a memorable for a woman and that is appealingly essayed and the part of midwife assisted labor is positively given, I would have loved if the character of Gilbert was positively noted  thereby bringing out the importance of midwife, I also liked the details of the traditional midwife's cures...This books also roots for the feminine rights to choose birth control methods rather gong for an abortion....Household abuse are written as a known secret..Oh yes I felt blessed to be born in an era were there are much more advanced treatments available... The book is a mix of first person account, diary entries,dialogues, letters that might be a bit difficult to gather on but as you read through everything just fits in.. Another book that goes well with describing war ,in this book it is world war-I and a feminine point of view is recorded...I felt that author was sprinting away to end the book...The book was an enjoyable read for me but I wouldn't say that its everybody's read...

My 9th book on new author challenge

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The space between us by Thrity Umrigar

Title:The space between us
Author: Thrity Umrigar
Publisher: Harper Collins India
Pages: 321
Price: Rs 350
Genre: Fiction/Indian writing
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Personal

Buy The space between us from
Buy The spaces between us from

From good reads..
Poignant, evocative, and unforgettable, The Space Between Us is an intimate portrait of a distant yet familiar world. Set in modern-day India, it is the story of two compelling and achingly real women: Sera Dubash, an upper-middle-class Parsi housewife whose opulent surroundings hide the shame and disappointment of her abusive marriage, and Bhima, a stoic illiterate hardened by a life of despair and loss, who has worked in the Dubash household for more than twenty years. A powerful and perceptive literary masterwork, author Thrity Umrigar's extraordinary novel demonstrates how the lives of the rich and poor are intrinsically connected yet vastly removed from each other, and how the strong bonds of womanhood are eternally opposed by the divisions of class and culture.

A confession, before I go further., I picked the book for the cover, something about it allured  me...Surprises are always welcome isn't!!!! Class difference is a major problem in developing , people set to heavier and hard work do not enjoy the financial benefits they deserve, yet there hasn't been much progress till day...Few years back house maids were a class of people who suffered at the hands of their master and were completely at their kindness and mercy..Though things are quite different now still there are few unfortunate mortals (though I am not suppose to say so) who continue to suffer for keeping their family and children afloat..As I began to read I expected a sad tale of a suffering house maid ..But it turned to be  quite different..I liked this quote very much..
"Tomorrow. The word hangs in the air for a moment, both a promise and a threat. Then it floats away like a paper boat, taken from her by the water licking at her ankles"

Sera Dubash and Bhima are the two important characters of the novel..Both the ladies are distinctly apart by their way of life yet stringed together by their journey of life, both have an unhappy marriage.. Sera  sufferes physically and mentally tortured by her husband., she is nursed by the kindness of Bhima , she also renders courage to her..Sera also showcases her affection by taking care of Bhima's husband 's medical expenses , also by ensuring a good education for Bhima's grand- daughter...Both have a different lifestyle, Bhima's day starts in the chaos of Bombay's slum fighting for water and to carry out everyday chores of her day, while Sera's life is that of comfort , yet both are unhappy with their respective marriages... Class difference comes alive when Bhima is let to drink water in a separate glass and not allowed to share the seating that she cleans everyday..Bhima fights her way struggling hard to meet her both ends tired and distraught..Her only hope is on her grand-daughter Maya after her daughter and son-in law die of AIDS..Life further gives her a sad turn when Maya gets pregnant and denies to name the person...Urbanised quarters of a country has equal share of good and bad things.. Though some writers may point out to bring out the grayer part lives some writers use it effectively to weave story along...

Through simple writings Umringer has been able to bring out the deeper meanings for instance
"She always imagined that evil played out on a large canvas-wars, concentration camps, gas chambers, the partitionaing of nations. Now she realised that evil had a domestic side, and its very banality protected it from exposure."

 Bhima marches high and low to punish the culprit of Maya's pergnancy in her haster she runs for the wrong guy , her remorse after finding out the truth was really disturbing even when the reader guess it earlier..Kudos to Umrigar for avoiding cliches and melodramatic twists and turns ..The characters appear real..Sera and Bhima spit hard truth wide and loud to the readers..Their social hierarchy setting the friendship apart inspite of this bond ...Sera and Bhima are close yet there is an invisible barricade that stops them from being the closest friends..Though the plot seem plain that have been much written and talked much about , its Umrigar's writing that sets this novel apart...

!3th book to South Asian Reading challenge

Two more to go for my new author challenge..

Monday, August 20, 2012

The wind of war by Herman Wouk

Title: The wind of war
Author: Herman Wouk
Publisher: Back Bay books
Price:Rs 994
Genre: Historic fiction
ISBN: 0316952664
Rating:4.5 out of 5
Source: Personal

Buy the wind of war from
This is a the first of the book series by Herman through world war II..Victor "Pug " is a naval officer and confidant of  President Roosevelt..The story begins before the German's invasion to Poland and ends just after The Pearl Harbor attack...Story
Had I not known the book's genre I would taken for granted the book to be non-fiction, how dumb isn't...The mix of real and fictitious character works the real charm...The familys of Jastrows and Henrys all bring out their own strong point based up on their own cultural difference making a point clear that, out cultural background can blind or help us see certain in a way that might be for good or for bad...I loved Natalie Jastrow for her strong will and the determination to get things through her beliefs rather than plain set of notions..Aron Jastrow had lot of guts to remain in Italy in-spite of the threat lingering around...Byron who later married Natalie is a real charmer with his set of thoughts and way of life..All characters in the novel have strong personality unlike other novels where just hand around without much do to...Pug has his own worries about his not so good career and his low persona...Each character's vantage beautifully portrays different angles to the same situation is very unique to Herman's writing..The book gives crisp accounts of the political and military scenario and tactics with all details..Hitlers regime his internal tactics was another interesting part that I loved reading but there were at times bit boring for me with too many details to follow...Written years ago I didn't even feel it out of date, only certain writers have an aura to aged elegantly..The book is totally engaging and engrossing that could feel as huge in the beginning but once you get the hang of it , you would enjoy every bit of reading it..After reading this I am really looking forward to read the sequel "War and remembrance".

My 7th book to new author challenge

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A fine balance by Rohinton Mistry

Title: A fine balance
Author: Rohinton Mistry
Publisher: Faber and faber
Page: 624
Price: Rs 450
Genre: Historic fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Source: Personal

Buy A finebalance from
Buy A fine Balance from

Set during the period of emergency in India between 1975 to 1984,the novel is about Dina dalal, Ishvar Darji his nephew Omprakash Darji (both untouchables) and a young Parsi student Maneck Kohlah..Through their difference in culture and believes they are forced to be together by twist of political turmoil in India, supporting each other facing them, finding a balance..

I am on a spree reading historic fiction just to get a hang of different events in different parts of the globe , this is however closer to me as I have known all about emergency from my parents hence I needed less effort to be connected with the characters as I am surrounded by people from different culture and background all around me...Being able to feel the plot is quite different from being connected to the characters., though both feel good I love the later...A bit of information about emergency in India, the then Prime minister declared a state of emergency after supreme court declared her election as illegal..Rather giving a political correct version Mistry gives a rawness to the state of affairs like the crowd forced to the political meeting of Ms Gandhi were the crowd is asked to cheer when asked to, the police assembling the contractors and paying them to beat up the beggars..The point is the common men are ignored and their basic right to lead a life of self respect is snatched away without further thoughts...The four main characters Dina Dalal, who struggles to maintain her life on her own from an over protective brother, getting Ishvar darji and his nephew Omprakash Darji to assisst her in her tailoring shop..Untouchables in India are those people belonging to minority community who were not allowed to mingle freely with the majority of the educated class who claimed to be of higher caste..Though the constitution of India has abolished untouchability providing reserved seats to them for better education and job , yet there are still a part of people suffering from it...Dina to support herself , lets Maneck Kohlah to stay in her house as a tenant..From suspicion to friendship then to affection the story moves through human ardor connecting all the four characters... The story ends with the Indira Gandhi's assassination..People still hold on to faint hope for a better future..What I loved about Mistry's writing is the description of the everyday lives of the characters, every trivial piece of information has been well written , his own lineage might have helped him through...Mistry is a beautiful story weaver lending penetrating dialogues..Each character has been beautifully imbibed with their backgrounds , Maneck with his mountain village, The Darjis' from being sufferingChamar untouchables to struggling through everyday lives  in Mumbai... Through the last three books what I found in common was that, even facing the most horrendous situatios, its the affection, love and trust that renders strength to live by and how a simple political decisions affects the common life adversely...The pace of the book was slow compared to previous two books I reviewed, still it had all charm and lively read..This book is yet another haunting tale that will leave you numb...

This is my 12th book in south asian reading challenge 2012

And 6th in New author challenge 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhava

Title: Mornings in Jenin
Author: Susan Abulhava
Pages: 352
Price:Rs 350
Genre: Historic fiction
Rating:4 out of 5
Source: Personal

Buy Mornings in Jenin from
Buy Mornings in Jenin from

The novel is about the tangled lives of Palestininan Abulheja family through the eyes of Amal the youngest daughter of the family..Born into loss life of somber she keeps her life ahead of of this distraught of the family yet being deeply rooted into it..The struggle is over 60 years of Palestini-Isreali conflict expanding over four generations..The family bears immense torture at the hands of Zionist Israelis..That holds in store is the gripping story written by Susan Abulhava..

I love the books that pulls me into the story letting me to move around the characters as part of my own life , challenging me by their vantage , spreading happiness around and at times pulling across strings of melancholy..Most of the books portray the Israeli part of the history and their struggle., there were only few that went by the other part of the coin and that is the main reason why I picked this..I am only delighted about my choice...The novel unfolds in Ein Hod,every detail of this village is captivating , unfortunately this very beautiful village is succumbed to human barbarity..Losing a child is a biggest torture a mother can endure still Amal's mother holds on with hope and for her other children..She stands tall as an epitome of love..I love historic writings though I haven't explored the horizon much, yet I am fascinated by it already...Amal's journey traverses from Jerusalem to Lebanon to the loneliness in United states...The novel is desolating when a brother face each other as enemies of the opposite army.. Family's bonding, its love is alluringly written through the characters as they nurture each other with love during the difficult times bestowed upon them by the Israeli government and army..Love for ones land is so wonderfully written in the novel one such character is of Haj Yehya who goes to tend his olive groove despite the army threat to shoot bringing back his hard labour to his family during olive harvest season...Amal loses her brothers one as a soldier who  always faces hardships and another being snatched off from her mother as a kid..Amal grows up in America with good education backed by scholarship yet she longs to be in her homeland, moving to Lebanon life seems good  until by twist of fates she finds herself alone raising her daughter as a single mother...Her older brother finds her and thus unfolds her past to Sara..After Amal its through Sara a hope for her future lingers upon as the novel closes..I love Susan's writing because it affected me in so many layers of my thoughts...Those reading by Amal's father even after the hard labor day is so full of love and care... The greatest achievement of the book is that , the reader is bridged to the character throughout the novel...The book is a hovering tale of bereavement, that would leave you distorted..

This book was originally publishes as "Scar of David " in  2006.After slight editing Bloomsbury Publishing renamed it as "mornings in Jenin " in 2010..

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Someone knows my name by Lawrence Hill

Title: Someone knows my name
Author: Lawrence Hill
Publisher: W.W Norton & company
Page: 486
Price: Rs 875
Genre: Historic fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Personal
Buy someone knows my name from

Aminata Diallo is taken away from her home in Africa and enslaved in South Calorina..Expanding to six decades of misery with single goal of freedom in mind grave history in mankind is brought alive through her captivated life and dread with highlight on "The book of Negros"

After I read Roots click for review., I wanted to read some fiction on African slavory and ended up with this golden fiction..Abducted at a tender age of eleven Aminata is an absolute heart stealer with her "face what may come attitude"..I loved the survival instinct of Aminata who inspite of facing endless trials and tribulations still able to consider herself lucky for one thing that she is alive..Her sense of wit and her skill to adapt herself to any kind of situations from being a midwife  to educating herself that she keeps as a secret for the fear of physical assaults...Her reunion with Chekura was the only elating part of the plot that I found myself with a light heart..
While witnessing horror and being a part of that happens to her right from dragged in string of chain to being sold to various masters parting with her own children who are in turn sold as slaves to various owners were both striking and casting a hollow upon I saw things..Her life moves from South Carolina to New York , though her life finds no upliftment only a change is master and tactics of misery, yet she keeps her head high with hopes and aspirations to attain freedom in the future..The book begins in 1802 and the reader gets a real 18th century aura scattered all over..The world should  indeed be ashamed on the treatment cast upon fellow human for no reasons...The deal she has to go follow in order to return  home was sorrowful., that is cast upon her is instantly reflected upon the reader too..The reading was fast paced but it got harder to turn the page with all that I read about the experiences of enslaved people..Her mental drive to attain freedom at any cost was something I held onto..Post slavery she puts her literacy into apt use by working as scribe recording names of African American emigrating to Canada in "The book of Negros", earning her own freedom emigrating to Canada..Unkept promises haunts her everywhere and she has no where to go that she could call her own...Finally her helplessness of not being able to relate to any place was heart rendering..Aminata aptly portrays the voice of slaves through a period that just defies anybody's creative vantage yet everything feels so perfect about her...Even when the book ended on a somber note., I couldn't take Aminata of my thoughts she just lingered on refusing to leave showing up all the saga of slavery around..This book is an absolute read for anyone who seeks a read with substance..I would say that this is a book with a soul...Darker shades of history is brilliantly portrayed by Hill and hats off to her for that..Human entanglement is at its best through this book..Just read to get a glimpse of grey part of life..

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bachelorette Project by Tami Anthony

Title: Bachelorette Project
Author: Tami Anthony
Pages: 263
Price: $9.99
Genre:Chick lit/ Woman's Fiction
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Source: Blog tour

Buy bachelorette Project from

When an unfortunate twist of fate leaves 28 year-old socialite Leslee Robinson broken-hearted and unemployed, she embarks on a journey to discover what boggles every twenty-something single woman's mind: What do men really want how do you find the perfect mate? The Bachelorette Project, a scientific dating experiment designed to uncover the enigma of the male species.
With unbelievable twists and a contemporary, comedic Chick-Lit feel, The Bachelorette Project is the chronicle of a single woman’s journey to finding true friendship, discovering herself, and learning the enigma of love down to a science

Chick lit is not my kind of genre and this was the main reason I signed up for the blog tour and it turned out to be a contemporary love story too..The book was a breezy read...The plot is frisky and there were hilarious instances..I was amused at Leslee's disastrous dates one with a foot fetish another with a mob leader..Though the Bachelorette project that Leslee sets out to experiment was a bit let down for me,and many a times she got me irritating, but I loved the way Tami brought up her character from a Chick who bothered more about her designer label to big mansion that she dreamnt of having some day with a wealthy husband, into an independent woman of substance ;and by the end I started to like her even more...I guess at some point every woman goes through the phase of Leslee on prioritizing  life and to make decisions..Leslee is a natural in match making those instance of her helping Karen's cousins reminded me of my friends who could judge people with one shot...Through Eric Tami rightly points out that a woman loses her stuff when she becomes desperate....While the main focus of the book is romance there is a strong line on friendship that holds her together during her worst moment both in Manhattan and back home Philly....After all friendship stands the test of time..Eric the hero is warm friend I don't want to describe the other traits that Leslee goes on and on about in this story.. I wish I had more of Eric and Les's plot , those were really good part of the novel..Karen Leslee's annoyingly irritating best friend is too caring and loving to be ignorant even ad-mist her busy wedding preparation..Annie single mother who also helps Leslee with her project is another character ,who is not a kind of characters that one gets to read inn all novels..Russ and Karen make a wonderful pair who inspite of the hard fight end up loving more than before...All characters were appealing even those who had  cameo..All in all  Bachelorette project was humorous, thoroughly entertaining for a quick read for an unwinding day...The novel has a lot of drama that many might love and of course it ends in a happy  note where Leslee ends up with great hope for the future with a wonderful life partner...

Now here goes the excerpt:

Why am I always getting dumped by men?” I ask Karen. “It’s because I know nothing about them.”
“OK …” Karen replies, unsure to where I’m going with all of this.
“So, my visit to the hospital really got me thinking,” I say, “and then I remember you using the word ‘experiment’ so then I thought … ‘EXPERIMENT!’” I exclaim. “It’s a genius idea! I can conduct this experiment on what men really want out of women and how I, the quintessential single woman, could give it to them and possibly find my true love!” I clutch my chest, smile, and spin around. “Isn’t that the most perfect idea that you ever heard? I would be like a scientist, a scientist of love.”
Karen rolls her eyes at my idea. “And how, O Great One, will you conduct this experiment?”
“I got it all planned out.” I pull my completed poster board from underneath my bed and I hold it up for Karen to see. She, once again, looks confused.
“What the hell is that?” she asks, sighing.
“It’s my experiment,” I say excitedly. “I’m going scientific on their asses. It’s called ‘The BACHELORETTE Project.’ How I will conduct the experiment is shown here.” I point to the different sections of the board. “I will go on a series of dates using different tactics in different environments to find out what works for women and what doesn’t.”
“I’m listening,” Karen says as she leans forward.
“In the process, I will study the men that I date, categorize them and see what their likes and dislikes are thereby unlocking the many secrets of the male species.”
“Oh, I can tell you the secrets of men,” Karen says, smirking. “It’s sex, food, video games, and sports. If a man has those four things, then he’s a happy man.” I guess that makes sense. You know, the ‘four things philosophy,’ but I’m just certain that there has to be more. It can’t be that easy or I wouldn’t be single … right?
“Well, I’m still conducting my experiment,” I say confidently. “Maybe there are more than just four secrets. Maybe there are seven secrets.” As I nod my head, I convince myself that there has to be more. Not everything is just sex, food, video games, and sports.
”All right,” Karen starts, “so when does your little experiment start?”
“As soon as possible,” I tell her. “Now all I need is a trusty assistant …”

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review ..This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

About the author:

Tami Anthony is an author, a playwright, and the beautiful mind

 behind Pink Butterfly Publications, a publishing company devoted 

to female-driven literature. She is a graduate of Rutgers University

 with a Bachelor’s in English Literature and Theatre Arts. Tami

 presently resides outside of Philadelphia with her son and is 

currently working on her second novel and future plays.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Memories by Deanna Lynn Sletton

Title: Memories
Author: Deanna Lynn Sletton
Page: 136
Price: $ 8.99
Genre:Romance/ Woman's fiction
Rating:4 out of 5
Source: Blog tour

Danille Westerly has a successful career and a wonderful life that she is proud, unless her past comes haunting her..She couldn't contain when she came face to face with Michael De Cara the person behind all her misery..In spite of eighteen years  passing,her hatred only equaled her blind love once she felt for him..How would she come in terms with all that she put behind her head as he tries to pursue her to know the reason behind her utter hatred ,when he did what was best for her..How will they resolve their difference as they realise the spark to be alive ..By destiny she is given another chance to recreate her life with the same kind of life she lost, will she grab it and fill her life with love or decide against her heart..
This month has been promising in terms of my reading..I was skeptical participating in blog tours but luckily the books I chose surprised me totally, they all have been real good..This is another weekend read of mine and I am only too glad that I did..Breaking up the suspense of the hero's death  right in the beginning with the quotes " She was burying the man she loved and no amount of sympathy or prayer would comfort her today"
 got me interested in reading , I knew at least they would get married which only meant there were no heart breaks, this only encouraged me to pursue my reading faster... Dani is successful,ambitious , so much control of  life yet with a melancholy of her past lingering her, on the other hand Michael is too much for a charmer,debonair to the core who has aged elegantly, a sensible businessman and a devoted father...I loved the chemistry between them, her loathing matched with his charm..Nightmares of a soldier is so amazingly written, most of the time we tend to take it for granted about, a soldier's war experience, but its a sad tale that we hardly realise that they need much love, care and trust even when they tend  to back away from it..I had  immense respect for the author for keeping the intimate scenes crisp yet sensual, because off late I was tired for reading to many details running to pages.. The book as the title suggests is the nostalgic account of the protagonist Danille Westerly...Its a romantic fiction with class..Sletton's writing is peppy , sunny and quite vivacious, its a great weekend book to sit and relax with, feel good about everything around you...This is the right book for a lazy cuddle only to break to enjoy the day from balco..It was perfect for me to read it listening to the pitter patter of rain on my window as the backdrop..


Miguel sat at the bar of a small, crowded saloon in Saigon. He was on a three-day pass and spent it trying to forget why he was in this country to begin with.
He ordered another drink and turned a quick glance at his friend Billy, who was sitting at a table near the door with a young Vietnamese girl. Billy was an oversized, clumsy farm boy from the Midwest who thought himself a charmer with the ladies. But he was also tough, honest and brave, good qualities a man needed in this place and a friend needed in a buddy. Miguel and he had stuck close since being sent to the same unit in Nam.
Smiling and shaking his head at his friend, Miguel turned back to his fresh drink and took a swig. Something brushed against his leg and he looked down from the tall barstool to see a small beggar boy, one arm missing, his face grotesquely disfigured, carrying a small bag looking up at him. Miguel just turned away from the boy and he continued on his way looking for handouts. Young children, deformed and missing limbs, were all over Saigon; one of the cruelties of this damn war. Miguel, like everyone else who had been there too long, had learned to look through them and past them since he was unable to help them all.
Once again Miguel glanced at his friend, now leaning forward head-to-head with the girl. He noticed the beggar boy stopping only a second at Billy's table, then being brushed away by Billy, the boy headed out the door into the daylight. Through the light from the door opening, Miguel noticed that the bag the boy had been carrying lay under Billy's table and it took him only a second to realize what was in it.
"Billy, bomb!" Miguel yelled as he jumped over the bar for protection in one smooth motion. Other military men in the bar took cover under tables and behind the bar. So engrossed in his new lady friend, Billy only looked up, confused by all the commotion before the realization of what was happening crossed his face. He pushed the girl away from the table, but before he could move an inch, the plastic, homemade bomb below him exploded. Miguel screamed his name as he watched his friend tear into pieces before his eyes.
 "Billy, no!"
 Dani shot up in bed at the sound of a man screaming. Not even awake yet, she instinctively jumped out of bed and ran through the darkened apartment to the open sofa bed where Miguel was sleeping.
 "Billy!" he screamed again, loud and anguished, and in the moonlight through the patio doors Dani could see the horror in Miguel's face.
 Quickly she crawled into bed and held him tight, softly cooing, "Miguel, it's okay. You're home. You're safe. I'm here Miguel, I'm here." Over and over she said this until he finally stopped struggling and grew quiet in her arms.
 Dani cradled his head on her chest, rocking him back and forth like a frightened child. Still assuring him he was okay, she was there for him. She ran her fingers through his damp hair, brushing it away from his face, rocking him gently, assuring him he was home and safe. And even as he came to his senses, Michael continued to let her hold him. She was the only woman who could soothe his pain of remembering. It felt warm and comforting to be in her arms, so easy to allow her to soothe and comfort him.
 After a time, still holding him, Dani softly asked Miguel, "It was the bar dream again, wasn't it?" She knew all his bad dreams, the jungle dream, the bar dream, the body bag one, each in detail from when he had told her about them years ago. She was the only one he'd ever told them to, because she had been the only one who had ever cared to listen.
 Miguel nodded his head in her arms. "I should have done something," he said hoarsely. "I should have saved Billy."
 "You did the best you could," Dani said softly. "No one could control who lived and who died. You have nothing to blame yourself for."
 Dani sat quietly for a while longer, still holding Miguel close. She thought of his pain, of her pain and of the pain they had caused each other. "We make a great pair, you and I," she whispered, shaking her head. And then, slowly, she lay down under the covers beside him, all the time holding him close, both finally falling asleep from exhaustion. And for the first time in years, Michael slept soundly and dreamlessly, feeling safe in Dani's arms.
Sunlight streamed through the patio doors across the sleeping bodies of Michael and Dani. He stirred slowly and carefully sat up, not wanting to disturb her sleep, and was surprised to see the clock on the opposite wall read 11:00 A.M. He hadn't slept this late on a Saturday morning in a very long time, and a smile played across his lips when he remembered the last time he had slept this late. And he had woken up with the same sweet woman beside him then, only a younger version. It was like they'd never parted.
 As Michael studied Dani's sleeping face, he liked what he saw. In sleep she had the softness he remembered, not the look of bitterness she had shown him last night. He thought of last night and how she'd stroked his hair and soothed away his nightmare so tenderly. She was still the same sweet person he had known so many years ago, no matter how hard she'd tried to convince him otherwise. And she must still have some feelings for him other than hatred.
 "Good morning," Dani interrupted his thoughts and looked up at him through sleepy eyes. "What are you staring at?"
 "The past, the present, all rolled into one," he told her, smiling.

About the author
Deanna Lynn Sletten is a novelist who writes women's fiction and has also written one middle-grade fiction action/adventure novel. Her novels include Memories, Widow, Virgin, Whore and Outlaw Heroes. She started her writing career as a freelance writer for parenting publications in the early 1990s and transitioned to writing for blogs and websites until she made the jump to novelist.  Deanna is currently working on her next novel which will be released in December 2012. Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, Deanna enjoys walking the trails around her northern Minnesota home with her beautiful Australian Shepherd.

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